Review (part 1) – Mash Up: Stories Inspired by Famous Lines edited by Gardner Dozois

Posted: August 9, 2016 in Fantasy, Sci-Fi
Tags: , , , , ,

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Titan Books have put out another exceptionally clever anthology of short stories. This time the prompt used is ‘first lines’; the opening lines of a favourite story or poem as chosen by the writer. Bringing together an impressive list of names, Mash Up looks to be packed with great content.

The opening gambit by Robert Charles Wilson is based on a children’s book by Carl Sandburg. What’s nice is that each short story is prefaced by the author, giving a little background and insight into the forthcoming work. Fireborn is a wonderful and evocative tale of two commoners who happen to meet and befriend a skydancer – one of the immortal Fireborn. It’s a curious blend of magical and technological world building but one that the author manages beautifully.

The story gives witness to so much detail and character. Yet, it is the dichotomy and similarity between the common and the Fireborn that gives this story it’s heart.

The Evening Line by Mike Resnick is a very different prospect. Featuring Resnick’s character, Harry the Book, the author takes his first line from Pride and Prejudice. A punter has won a large sum of money at the horses and has gone from ugly duckling to eligible bachelor in the blink of an eye.

This is a stylised story that used a bar for the setting and mixes a magical, fantasy feel with the vibe of a 1930’s speakeasy. But, it’s the bizarre characters and the relentless banter between them that makes this such a fun read.

So far, so mashed up. Such a promising idea, I’ll definitely be reviewing more from this anthology soon.

Review copy
Published by Titan Books

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